The Value of a Catholic Education

Morning Prayer:
January 30, 2017
Prayer by Fr. Joel Konzen, S.M., Principal of Marist School

Good morning. This week the nation marks Catholic Schools week. The start of that for us is always the Archbishop’s Education banquet which took place on Saturday night. Marist students provided the singing and the serving for the Mass that took place before the dinner. Thank you to those who were representing Marist, including Mr. Freel. At the dinner, one staff member from every school was honored. For Marist, Mrs. Mistretta was honored for her work at Marist as registrar and the other things she does. Also, Mrs. Claussen’s husband was honored for Immaculate Heart of Mary and Mr. Gentile for the Cristo Rey High School, who is the grandfather to our three Elledges and father to Mrs. Elledge. It was a good evening, and Marist was well represented.

I know that you all know many ways that Catholic schools are different. Yes, we can pray when and how we want. Yes, we can discuss God and topics in religion as we please. But there is also a basic human respect that drives what we do, down to greeting each other and feeling like we could trust the others in this community if we needed help with something. I hear the word “community” a lot when people are describing what they appreciate about Marist. That’s not always the case in other private schools or in public schools. The same regard for human life that we say pertains to the unborn obviously pertains to the born, all the way through old age and death. That kind of consistent valuing of the most important part of our days together—namely, appreciating each other and the contribution that each person makes—is what has made Catholic schools successful since the first ones were started in the United States in the early 1700’s. It’s no accident that the people who graduate from Catholic schools do pretty well later on—we teach responsibility and care for other people. Those things often mean that our graduates are in leadership wherever they are.

So, it would be great if you told your parents and your teachers “thanks” at some point for the benefits of Catholic schools. But even if you don’t, I know you’ll be enjoying those benefits anyway. Let us pray.

In the name of the Father…

From the earliest schools in convents and monasteries to today’s high-performing prep schools, you, O God, have been the beginning and the end of the efforts of teachers and students—to glorify your name, to understand your ways, and to make you known throughout the earth. Bless our efforts in this and the other schools that seek to advance your will by bringing together from diverse stories and places people of great promise, energy, and faith. May we maintain Marist School in its independence and in its reliance on Mary’s way, so that all who go on from here might take with them the benefits and the memories of a bountiful and helpful education, in a community of care and a spirit of common belief. Through the intercessions of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and the other patrons of Catholic education, we bless your holy name and seek to follow Jesus, who is the Lord and is our primary teacher now and forever. Amen.

Mary, seat of wisdom.

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